Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taking the Risk - Permission to Be Real

I love the passage below because I believe it with all of my heart.   As a child growing up, I felt two things that somewhat contradicted each other.  One was that things are not always as they seem and the other was that if you listen to your heart and live true to it, you will be just fine, no matter what anyone else is doing or thinking.  Unfortunately as we get older, there are times when we look around and think "if only we had this" or "if only we were just like someone else or had their life". 

In the end, the truth is not always what it seems.  We can only live our own life true to ourselves.  Good news, though, it works every time.


People who keep it real present themselves as they truly are, the good parts and the parts most of us would rather hide.

Most of us are familiar with the idea of keeping it real and have an
intuitive sense about what that means. People who keep it real don't hide
behind a mask to keep themselves safe from their fear of how they might be
perceived. They don't present a false self in order to appear more perfect,
more powerful, or more independent. People who keep it real present
themselves as they truly are, the good parts and the parts most of us would
rather hide, sharing their full selves with the people who are lucky enough
to know them.

Being real in this way is not an easy thing to do as we live in a culture
that often shows us images of physical and material perfection. As a result,
we all want to look younger, thinner, wealthier, and more successful. We are
rewarded externally when we succeed at this masquerade, but people who are
real remind us that, internally, we suffer. Whenever we feel that who we are
is not enough and that we need to be bigger, better, or more exciting, we
send a message to ourselves that we are not enough. Meanwhile, people who
are not trying to be something more than they are walk into a room and bring
a feeling of ease, humor, and warmth with them. They acknowledge their
wrinkles and laugh at their personal eccentricities without putting
themselves down.

People like this inspire us to let go of our own defenses and relax for a
moment in the truth of who we really are. In their presence, we feel safe
enough to take off our masks and experience the freedom of not hiding behind
a barrier. Those of us who were lucky enough to have a parent who was able
to keep it real may find it easier to be that way ourselves. The rest of us
may have to work a little harder to let go of our pretenses and share the
beauty and humor of our real selves. Our reward for taking such a risk is
that as we do, we will attract and inspire others, giving them the
permission to be real too.